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WIPO, IOC Agree to Expand Cooperation in Promotion of IP and Sports

June 13, 2023

LAUSANNE, Switzerland - The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have agreed to expand their cooperation in the promotion, use and management of IP in sport.

WIPO Director General Daren Tang and Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, signed the accord to leverage their organizations’ respective strengths and expertise through joint initiatives that reinforce the importance of IP rights in sports.  

“Intellectual property and sports have always been connected. This agreement provides a sound basis for us to support the international sports community to use IP as a tool for growth and development and in the spirit of the Olympics – move higher and faster together,” said WIPO Director General Tang.

WIPO Director General Tang and IOC President Bach sign the agreement on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland. Credit and copyright: IOC/Greg Martin.

This event marks a significant milestone in the history of the two organizations which share long-standing relations spanning over four decades since the adoption of the Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol, said Mr. Tang.

Sports are powerful engines of innovation, as well as early adopters of new technology. The work with IOC will be part of WIPO’s wider focus on the relationship between IP and sports which will include new training programs, projects and initiatives to raise IP awareness amongst athletes and sports organizations, as well as unlock the full benefits of sport in all regions of the world.

IP is an important driver of the Olympic Movement – whether through the technology and apparel that athletes use to push the boundaries of human performance, broadcasting rights that capture the imagination of millions, image rights and sponsorship deals which provide valuable income for athletes around the world, or by upholding the look and feel of the Games, including by protecting the Olympic Symbol through WIPO’s Nairobi Treaty.

About IOC

IOC is an international non-governmental not-for-profit organization, of unlimited duration, in the form of an association with the status of a legal person, recognized by the Swiss Federal Council. The object of the IOC is to fulfil the mission, roles, and responsibilities as assigned to it by the Olympic Charter, to govern and lead the Olympic Movement and to promote Olympism throughout the world. It serves as a catalyst for collaboration between all members of the Olympic family, from the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the International Sports Federations (IFs), the athletes, the Organising Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs), to the members of the Olympic Partners (TOP) programme, broadcast partners and public or private organizations in the endeavor to place sport at the service of humankind, shepherding success through a wide range of programs and projects. The IOC ensures the regular celebration of the Olympic Games, supports all affiliated member organizations of the Olympic Movement and strongly encourages, by appropriate means, the promotion of the Olympic values, being governed according to a high standard of ethical rules.

About WIPO

WIPO is an intergovernmental organization and specialized agency of the United Nations, which plays a crucial role in leading the development of a balanced and effective global intellectual property ecosystem. WIPO serves as the global forum for IP services, policy, information and cooperation, with the mission to promote innovation and creativity for a better and more sustainable future. WIPO helps governments, businesses and society to harness the benefits of intellectual property by shaping international IP rules, offering global services to protect IP, providing technical infrastructure, facilitating cooperation programs, and serving as a world reference source for IP information.